October 4 – Canyons, Chocolate and Ziplines!

The previous evening Wilson asked us what we wanted to do next.  We had heard stories of the “Cloud Forest” and wanted to experience it.  Our next adventure was set.  We headed out from Cotacachi early in the morning travelling some back roads to a destination we did not know.  We went from green pastureland into a deep canyon, almost desert like and back up the other side.  I thought to myself this road would be fantastic on a motorcycle – so many twists and turns.

By the time we came out of the canyon and arrived back into civilization, I was totally lost.  but then we pulled up beside a bus with a very familiar person behind the wheel….OMAR – our driver from the first trip.  Wilson had me say something in Spanish to him – he was not impressed!  Lord only knows what I was told to say!!!

We continued on our way, going from almost desert into lush rainforest within minutes of crossing over the top of the hill.  For the next hour it was downhill all the way, through lush jungle rainforest to the small town of Mindo.  This is a small ecotourism town with a few B&Bs and  coffee shops.  There was rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, and most of all, bird watching tours.

Our first stop was at a small chocolate plantation.  Here we were treated to a tour of the small factory where they make chocolate starting from actually picking the beans from the trees….

After a nice lunch at the chocolate factory, we headed up a dirt road into the hills.  At one point, there was a small river to cross.  There was a bridge, but Wilson opted for the old route, right through the river….Our next adventure was beginning.

After a basic safety check, we were harnessed up and trekked into the jungle for a zip line tour.  It was a blast!  We had a young woman from Brazil join us – I think the guide had a bit more than he could handle!

After the fun, we were checked in to our accommodations for the night – a very nice place with separate cabins set in the jungle with a most amazing collection of orchids growing everywhere.